Basement therapy

Hi All! Question for you: Regardless of how long you've lived in your home, have you ever wondered if the way you've arranged a certain room or area is making the absolute most out of that space? Or maybe there's a space you are not in love with, but you live with it as-is because you can't see it any other way. I think we've all been there at some time or another.

This was our basement three weeks ago: At the time of this photo, I thought our basement was as good as it could be. I didn't love it, but I didn't see it any other way.


And around the corner, our guest 'nook'.


Our basement is an awesome space which we are SO grateful for. We've watched all three of our kids learn how to walk down there. We love hosting friends and family for board games, movies, and football games. There's a full bathroom, windows, a laundry / storage room, and lots of floor space.

And yet...

With the position of the sectional sofa, we were splicing the floor space in half. It was making the space really choppy, with no real open room for the kids to spread out and play. Our kids, now 4, 4, and 3, take up a bit more room than they did when they were babies, and the space was just feeling smaller and smaller for them to play.


Because of the exposed brick you can see in the first picture,(the remnants of an old wood-burning stove that this home had years and years before we ever moved in), we didn't really see another option for our TV. The weird panel of brick seemed like an obvious focal point for the TV to go, but that left half of the sectional sofa floating in the middle of the room, and the other half was way too close to the TV. 

So we moved some things around, you know, just to see...

We moved the TV across the room. And guess what?! Not a bad seat in the house now!

The guest nook looks just about the same, (more on that space and how I planked a wall with a Sharpie here). I'm considering adding curtains that could be anchored on either side so that when we do have overnight guests, they can have a tiny smidgen of privacy.

And there are the toys. Let's talk about toys for a sec. I know there are tremendously creative options for hidden toy storage out there and we've used a couple ideas in other areas of our home. But the truth is, I just don't mind seeing them. I'll miss them some day. I love the random arms of excavators sticking out, the inclined ladders atop the firetrucks, the rotors of helicopters, the fuzzy scarves for dress up - all those things that are really tricky to keep out of sight are okay with me in sight. We didn't have kids on accident, (well, not all of them - our third was a...pleasant surprise), so I don't try to pretend that their toys don't exist all over our home.

The sunburst mirror is the second DIY I can't wait to share from my paint stick hoard! (See the first here: The rustic wooden lampshade). I also painted the brick a very light aqua, which is way more fun down here than the previous poorly painted white.

This ottoman, which I found at Goodwill last year for $5, has seen 4 fabrics now. But this gorgeous rainbow tweed, (from JoAnns), is the tops. Here to stay. Matt even made new legs for it, (which he did for the sofa as well so that it could fit over the brick jutting out on the floor).

And this rug is my dream rug. I've wanted a black and white Swiss cross rug for a nice long time. This one cost nothing. Check out how I made it later this week!

I titled this post 'Basement Therapy' because ever since we changed the layout to what we have now, things have been different. We've hardly turned on the TV for the kids, I've heard far less arguing during their play, (which has grown even more imaginative), and the space just makes me feel peaceful and calm. I have sat down here almost every morning enjoying the early sun, listening to my children play with my Bible and journal in my lap. I don't know how else to describe it other than I am delighted by this space. Delighted by the moments that are happening because it's working far better for our family than it was before.

It took us over 4 years to try something different, but I'm so grateful for what it is now. A huge thanks to my husband for coming up with this idea and making it happen, (he worked his tech magic to reroute all the TVs cords).

Coming up, I'll be sharing some of the special DIYs that have gone into this space, as well as a couple more that are still up my sleeve. :)

Can anyone relate to today's post? Any spaces that have thrown you off a bit? I would love to hear your experience!

Thank you for stopping by!


This post was published under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.

Make your eclectic style work {5 Tips}

Hi friends! This is a topic I've been excited to talk about for a little while. It's my own little collection of tips on how to decorate with an eclectic style aesthetic. Eclectic style is simply having a broad range of tastes and inspirations. I am sure that many of you, like me, cannot define your decorating style in one category, (elegant, bohemian, mid-century, country, etc). In fact, I have walked into only a few homes that are of one style aesthetic the whole way through. Personally, I prefer a more mixed and less match-y feel. Most people like a bit of this and a touch of that - and that's wonderful! But, sometimes it's hard to figure out how to use this and that in the same space together. So, let's take a look at some ways to make various styles work in one space!

1 -Earthy tones & a few pops of bright

You really can't go wrong with an earthy color palette. It makes combining various elements in one room much easier when you keep the big things, (walls, sofas, large area rugs), relatively neutral. Then you can play around with distinct snaps of color on lesser committal things, (pillows, wall art, lampshades, small area rugs, window treatments). 

{I really wanted our chandelier to be something funky and unusual, so I kept the rest of the dining room pretty low key so the fixture could stand out - how to found here}

 {Even a furniture piece, like a coffee table, can be fun to bring out your favorite color}

2 -Layering

Who says that everything from floor to ceiling needs to be of the same style genre? A geometric pattern on a rug with an old chippy wood coffee table is just one example of combining modern with vintage. Or a traditional Persian rug with a Lucite coffee table, (looks completely clear, like glass or plastic); a different way of combining old with new. If you pull together a color scheme that works well, (keeping the big things neutral), mixing various styles gets easier.

{I found this funky area rug at a thrift store, originally from IKEA - since it's neutral, it is the perfect modern element to offset our antique heirloom bedroom set}

{With both a traditional, neutral area rug and a rustic coffee table, I added some bright and colorful ombre throw pillows, (made from placemats, how-to found here) and a metal hexagon side table}

3 -Natural greens, (fresh or faux)

Bringing nature indoors is a simple trick for tying an eclectic space together. Greens often add a peaceful and calming vibe to a collected, layered space. 

4 -Edit

It is hard to pull the reigns back, especially when you have an eclectic aesthetic, but sometimes it's necessary when your eye is drawn to a variety of styles. I do love a rustic vibe, but I already have several rustic pieces floating around my home. I contrast those with my white furniture and walls, simple, clean lines for light fixtures, and a bit of shine here and there.

5 -Don't take the decorating too seriously

Your home is your own retreat and sanctuary. If you try to copy what you see in the magazines, you'll probably be disappointed when all is said and done. Own your style and have fun with it. Be surprising, be different. Don't over think. Decorate for the fun of decorating. Here are a few of my own ideas that I didn't have to think twice about; they're just for fun.

{Red tool box used as bench for my kids to pull their shoes on}

{Big ol' Duck Egg blue china cabinet in dining room}

{I converted a beat up chair into a hanging wall shelf for a client}

{Brought home these flea market antlers and recovered them in antique homespun linen}

{Decorated our deck when the weather was particularly nice one evening in summer}

{Passing on my love for art and creativity}

Thank you so much for stopping by!


This post was originally featured under Chelsea's Garage, now affectionately known as StyleMutt.